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by Peter Moskos

August 28, 2015

"Safe Steets" office raided in Baltimore

In case you're wondering how police could possibly be opposed to a "violence prevention program" like a city-funded program that "hires ex-felons to mediate disputes," consider this from the Baltimore Sun: "One of the guns found in a raid on the Safe Streets violence prevention program's East Baltimore office has been connected to at least two shootings."

Also found were a "semiautomatic handgun with a 26-round extended magazine found in a 'drop-style ceiling' in the office. Two loaded guns and four extended magazines were found in a cabinet. A plastic bag containing .40-caliber cartridges was found in a plant pot. Police also said they found 450 suspected heroin capsules as well as materials such as cutting agents and sifters used to prepare heroin for distribution."

Basically this was a tax-payer funded criminal enterprise. And yet, somehow, "City officials remain supportive of Safe Streets, which has been credited with stemming violence in the neighborhoods where it is active."

I don't know what neighborhoods they're talking about. This is a city where the homicide rate doubled in April.

I wonder how close the vetting for the Safe Streets participants gets to the mayor. This sure would be an interesting case of "follow the money."

[More on the program and the arrests, from NPR. (Thanks to PG)]

“He shouldn’t be up there with Martin Luther King"

No, Freddie Gray should not be. What a disgrace to MLK, Jr. I hate to paraphrase The Trump, but just because you are killed or die in police custody does not make you a hero. But such is politics in Baltimore.
When these officers look at this larger-than-life mural with Gray in the center, they see a drug dealer next to the greatest civil rights leader of all time and they can’t seem to make sense of that.

“Put that little girl up there. McKenzie. Not him,” the officer says.

He is referring to 3-year-old McKenzie Elliot, who was killed in a drive-by shooting last August. “Why weren’t there riots for her? That, I would understand.”
This comes from a piece in Salon by Danielle Ariano, who went on a ride-along in Baltimore. It's well worth reading the whole thing.

August 26, 2015

Baltimore Equals New York City in Homicides

I often joked about this, but I really never thought this day would happen.

On August 16, both New York and Baltimore had 208 murders. Baltimore has added another 8 since then. I'm not certain about NYC. New York City has 7.5 million more residents than Charm City.